Archeological Survey of India

Why in News

A Varanasi High Court ordered an Archaeological Survey of India to conduct a survey on a centuries-old Gyanvapi mosque complex abutting the famous Kashi Vishwanath temple.

Key Points

  • The HC of Varanasi ordered to survey to find out whether it is superimposition, alteration or addition or if there is structural overlapping of any kind, with any other religious structure.
  • The HC also ordered DG of ASI to constitute a five-member committee of experts, out of them two should be belongs to Minority Community.
  • The court also mentioned that if excavation or extraction is to be done at any portion of the structure, it should be first done by trial trench method vertically.
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  • This order came on the petition demanding restoration of the land on which the Gyanvapi Mosque stands to the Hindus Kashi Vishwanath temple.

Gyanvapi Mosque

  • The Gyanvapi mosque is located in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India.
  • It is a Jama Masjid located in the heart of the Varanasi city.
  • It was built by the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb in 1664.

Kashi Vishwanath temple

  • Kashi Vishwanath Temple is one of the most famous Hindu temples dedicated to Lord Shiva.
  • It is located in Vishwanath Gali of Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh in India.
  • It is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas, or Jyotirlingams, the holiest of Shiva Temples.
  • The original Vishwanath temple was destroyed by army of Aibak in 1194 CE, when he defeated the Raja of Kannauj as a commander of Mohammad Ghori.
  • It was rebuilt by a Gujarati merchant during the reign of Delhi’s Sultan Iltutmish (1211–1266 CE).
  • It demolishes by many times and finally re-built by Raja Todar Mal.
  • In 1669 CE, Emperor Aurangzeb destroyed the temple and built the Gyanvapi Mosque in its place.
  • The remains of the erstwhile temple can be seen in the foundation, the columns and at the rear part of the mosque.

Archaeological Survey of India

  • The Archaeological Survey of India is an Indian government agency under the Ministry of Culture.
  • It was founded in 1861 by Alexander Cunningham who also became its first Director-General of ASI.
  • It is responsible for archaeological research and the conservation and preservation of cultural monuments in the country.
  • Its head-quarter situated at the New Delhi.
  • It administers more than 3650 ancient monuments, archaeological sites and remains of national importance.


Durbar Move

Why in News

A tradition of a century and a half is set to be broken in Jammu and Kashmir, with only “sensitive records” being taken from Jammu to Srinagar this summer, unlike in previous years when the entire administration and records would be shifted during “Durbar Move”.

Durbar Move

  • It is a bi-annual shifting of the Civil Secretariat and other offices of the state government from Jammu to Srinagar in summer, and vice versa in winter.
  • This is done as Jammu & Kashmir has two capitals: Kashmir during summer and Jammu during winter.
  • In Jammu, offices shut on the last Friday and Saturday of April and reopen in Srinagar on the first Monday after a gap of a week.
  • In Kashmir, offices shut on the last Friday and Saturday of October, to reopen in Jammu on the first Monday after a week’s gap, in November.
  • Until 2019, the administration used to engage hundreds of trucks and buses for carrying office records and officials from one capital city to another.
  • For safe transportation, the Jammu & Kashmir police and paramilitary forces would dominate the entire Jammu-Srinagar national highway.
  • Apart from the expenses incurred on hiring trucks and buses, the moving staff also used to be paid TA and DA, besides arrangements for their accommodation.

Reason of Durbar Move

  • jammu-kashmir-new-map.jpgDurbar Move is a tradition started 149 years ago started.
  • It started by the erstwhile Dogra rulers who hailed from Jammu, but had expanded their boundaries to Kashmir including what is now Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, and Ladakh.
  • Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh are very different from one another geographically, linguistically and culturally.
  • Durbar Move was started to take the administration to the doorstep of the people of Kashmir which is closer to Ladakh.
  • During summer, ruling from Kashmir also helped in ensuring adequate supplies to Ladakh, which is closer to Kashmir than Jammu, before the winter snowfall would cut off Ladakh.
  • The practice also enabled greater interaction and bonding among the people of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh.


  • Protest against the move started during the late 1980s, over the amount of money and time spent on the exercise.
  • In the late 1980s, the government of Jammu and Kashmir had decided to bifurcate the Secretariat by permanently keeping some departments in Kashmir and some in Jammu, but Jammu observed a bandh for nearly 45 days in protesting, leading to the government withdrawing its decision.
  • In 2020, the Jammu & Kashmir High Court observed that there was no legal justification or constitutional basis for the Darbar Move tradition.
  • The court recommended that in case the practice was rationalized, the resources and time saved could be utilized towards the welfare and development of the UT; the money saved could also be used to address COVID-related issues like food shortage, unemployment and healthcare.
  • The UT government has decided to switch to e-governance, will all office records converted into digital format.
  • This year only sensitive records will be shifted from one place to another.

Dogra Dynasty

  • Dogra dynastyRajput clan, or group of clans, in the Kashmir region of the northwestern Indian subcontinent.
  • In the First Sikh War (1845–46), Singh held aloof and then appeared as a mediator.
  • As a reward, Kashmir (annexed by the Sikhs in 1819) was given to him by the British for a cash payment.
  • The population of the Vale of Kashmir itself was, apart from a Brahman minority, predominantly Muslim.
  • In 1947 Hari Singh, the great-grandson of Gulab Singh, faced with an incursion of Pashtuns from Pakistan, acceded to union with India, and this territory became the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. 111(3).jpg


National Security Act

Why in News

The Allahabad High Court’s quashing of NSA orders underlines failure of institutional asafeguards.

Key Points

  • The Allahabad High Court quashing, between January 2018 and December 2020, 94 out of 120 National Security Act (NSA) detention orders of the Uttar Pradesh administration.
  • The HC quashed NSA orders in 30 of 41 cow-slaughter cases, all 20 of 20 communal incident cases, and 20 of 25 political cases.
  • The reason behind the disturbing failure of systemic safeguards, of constitutional protections not kicking in when and where they should have.
  • The slaughtering and consumption of beef per se cannot attract the provisions of the National Security Act. It would be an offence under the provisions of the Cow Slaughter Act.

National Security Act (NSA)

  • The National Security Act of 1980 was enacted by the Indian Parliament promulgated on 23 September, 1980.
  • Its objective to detain a person if the authorities are satisfied that he/she is a threat to national security or to prevent him/her from disrupting public order.
  • It Contains 18 sections and empowers the Central and State Governments to detain a person to prevent them from acting in any manner prejudicial to the security of India, the relations of India with foreign countries, the maintenance of public order, or the maintenance of supplies and services essential to the community it is necessary so to do.
  • A person can be detained for up to 12 months without a charge.
  • A person can be held for 10 days without being told the charges against them.
  • The person can appeal before a high court advisory board but will not be allowed a lawyer during the trial.


First purchase of G-secs

Why in News

On 8th April 2021 the Reserve Bank India announced its first purchase of government securities worth Rs 25,000 crore under the G-sec Acquisition Programme (G-SAP 1.0) which will be done on April 15.

Key Points

  • The RBI announced its first purchase with a view to enabling a stable and orderly evolution of the yield curve.
  • The RBI will conduct open market purchase of government securities (G-secs) of Rs 1 lakh crore under the G-SAP 1.0 in the first quarter of this financial year.
  • On April 15, the RBI will purchase five government securities of different maturities amounting to Rs 25,000 crore. There will be no security-wise notified amount.
  • Under the programme, which will be for 2021-22, the RBI will commit upfront to a specific amount of open market purchases of government securities with a view to enabling a stable and orderly evolution of the yield curve amidst comfortable liquidity conditions.
  • The positive externalities of G-SAP 1.0 operations need to be seen in the context of those segments of the financial markets that rely on the G-Sec yield curve as a pricing benchmark.
  • The dates of maturity vary from November 2023 to March 2035.

Monetary Policy Committee (MPC)

  • 1568406396-4289.jpg It is the committee constituted by the RBI under the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934 on 27th June 2016  as an initiative to bring more transparency and accountability in fixing the Monetary Policy of India which led by the Governor of India.
  • Objective behind its formation was the mission of fixing the benchmark policy interest rate (repo rate) to restrain inflation within the particular target level. 
  • It is a six-member committee consisting: Governor as the Chairperson of committee, Deputy Governor of the Bank In-charge of MPC, Executive director of the Bank in charge of monetary policy, member of Prime Minister economic advisory council, senior advisor at the National Council for Applied Economic Research and finance and accounting professor.

Reserve Bank of India

  • The Reserve Bank of India is India’s central bank and regulatory body under the jurisdiction of Ministry of Finance, Government of India.
  • The Reserve Bank of India was established on April 1, 1935 in accordance with the provisions of the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934.
  • The Central Office of the Reserve Bank was initially established in Kolkata but was permanently moved to Mumbai in 1937.
  • Though originally privately owned, since nationalization in 1949, the Reserve Bank is fully owned by the Government of India.
  • It has 27 regional offices, most of them in state capitals and 04 Sub-offices.
  • Its four zonal offices of RBI at Mumbai, Kolkata, Delhi and Chennai.


  • The GSAP 1.0 will provide more comfort to the bond market. As the borrowing of the Government increased this year, RBI has to ensure there is no disruption in the Indian market.
  • In the fiscal year 2021, the Reserve Bank of India purchased Rs 3.13 trillion worth bonds from the secondary market. However, it was carried out in an ad hoc manner.
  • The programme will help to reduce the spread between repo rate and the ten-year government bond yield.
  • It will also help to reduce aggregate cost of borrowing for the centre and states in fiscal year 2022.

Government Securities

  • A government security (G-Sec) is a trade instrument issued by the central government or state governments.


National Supercomputing Mission (NSM)

Why in News

India is fast emerging as a leader in high power computing with the National Super Computing Mission (NSM).

About NSM

  • India launched NSM to enhance India’s research capabilities by connecting them together with a supercomputing grid with the National Knowledge Network (NKN) as the backbone.
  • It is launched under Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) and Department of Science and Technology (DST).
  • Capture.jpg Computing infrastructure has already been installed in four premier institutions, and installation work is in rapid progress in nine more.
  • Infrastructure planned in NSM Phase I has already been installed, Phase II will be getting in place soon and Phase III initiated this year, will take the computing speed to around 45PF. This will include three systems of 3PF each and one system of 20PF as a national facility.
  • The MoUs have been signed with a total of 14 premier institutions of India for establishing Supercomputing Infrastructure with Assembly and Manufacturing in India. These include IITs, NITs, National Labs, and IISERs.
  • The NSM is setting up a grid of supercomputing facilities in academic and research institutions across the country. Part of this is being imported from abroad and part built indigenously.
  • It is the joint venture of the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) and implemented by the Center for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), Pune, and the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore.
  • PARAM Shivay, the first supercomputer assembled indigenously, was installed in IIT (BHU), followed by PARAM Shakti, PARAM Brahma, PARAM Yukti, PARAM Sanganak at IIT-Kharagpur IISER, Pune, JNCASR, Bangalore and IIT Kanpur, respectively.


  • The term “supercomputing” refers to the processing of massively complex or data-laden problems using the concentrated compute resources of multiple computer systems working in parallel (i.e. a “supercomputer”).
  • Supercomputing involves a system working at the maximum potential performance of any computer, typically measured in Petaflops.
  • Sample use cases include weather, energy, life sciences and manufacturing.